Tuesday, July 11, 2006

History Matters

The Oklahoma Gazette has a fascinating article that I thought I would share
It was a small Cheyenne girl’s buckskin dress where a bullet hole and rust-colored blood stains covered the area where her stomach would have been.

Harjo, of the Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee tribes, said that her mother was “livid about the fact that was in a museum, where people’s prying eyes could look at it, and that it hadn’t been buried with the girl. It brought up all sorts of questions. Was the girl even buried? What happened to her? It just brought up a lot of things from the past. That became, for me, the symbol of the things that museums should not have and should not display.”
It got me thinking about history and how much importance we as modern day Americans choose to lend it to our everyday worldview. With respect to the shady ways we've treated the indigenous people of this slab of rock and dirt, do we choose to live our lives in such a way that honors the entire past of the area? or do we hold a viewpoint that the only era that has truly mattered is that which followed the signing of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution?

These are philosophical questions to a point, but it is my view that they also color the ways we engage in politics. Tribal politics, as an example, are dependent upon the motives of the politicians in Washington. If there is good will flowing from the Hill, then usually the best interests are served among the tribal people; but as we have seen extensively, when there is greed and powerbroking as the principle for lending assistance, well, just ask Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay what happens when you get caught displaying and manipulating the metaphorical remains of native american tribes.

Crossposted from The Left End of the Dial where I'm working to otherthrow James' blog ;-)

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